How to Spot Fake Frye Boots: 7 Ways to Tell Real Shoes

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Frye has centuries of experience in the boot-making trade, so it’s no wonder the brand is one of the leading makers of all-American boots.

The oldest continuously operated shoe company in the United States, Frye uses some of the finest leathers and materials and relies on skilled artisan craftsmanship, allowing this footwear brand to offer iconic leather boots that boast unparalleled quality.

High-quality Frye leather boots for men and womenHigh-quality Frye leather boots for men and women

Frye’s roster includes countless styles, ranging from timeless American classics to modern lifestyle boots.

Where to Buy Frye Boots

In addition to Frye’s official website, below are the top five online retailers where you can purchase authentic Frye boots.

1. Backcountry

2. Nordstrom

3. Saks Fifth Avenue

4. Shopbop

5. Zappos

If you’ve been planning to buy secondhand Frye boots or are looking to shop via an unauthorized reseller, it is best to do some research first in order to avoid being scammed. You need to be particularly careful when buying shoes on eBay.

There are a lot of counterfeit Frye boots circulating online, which are being passed off as real Frye boots. Read our seven-step guideline below to help you authenticate Frye boots.

1. Know the styles

Familiarize yourself with the styles released by The Frye Company. Since Frye has been around for a long time, there are many different styles available for sale.

Counterfeiters usually copy the best-selling Frye bootsCounterfeiters usually copy the best-selling Frye boots

Counterfeiters usually copy the best-selling products because of the high demand for these shoes. Some might also claim that their products are “vintage pieces” or “limited edition.”

Actress Gabrielle Union arrives for the LA Fashion Week Party hosted by Frye BootsActress Gabrielle Union arrives for the LA Fashion Week Party hosted by Frye Boots and Gabrielle Union on October 22, 2005, in Hollywood, California

Make sure to head over to an authorized retailer first to view the brand’s current products. You will usually find high-resolution images that you can use for comparison.

2. Check the packaging

Frye boots usually come in a simple white box with the Frye brand name and logo along with the words “Benchcrafted since 1863.” On the side of the box, there should be a sticker that shows product details, including style number, color, and size. Ensure that all the details are accurate.

The boots inside should also come with Frye tags that display a bit of history about the brand. The inner lining of the boot should display a serial number and product details that match the details on the side of the box.

3. Inspect the leather

There are several types of leather finishes used to make Frye boots. The leather varies from lightweight and polished to rugged and full grain.

Genuine leather will always look and feel rich and soft in texture, with the characteristic smell of leather.

Several types of leather finishes are used to make Frye bootsSeveral types of leather finishes are used to make Frye boots

Upon closer inspection, real leather will also exhibit pores and abrasions while faux will look uniform and perfect.

4. Check the stitching

Clean and even stitching is a mark of quality craftsmanship. Threads used should be the same color as the leather unless the stitching is displayed as detailed design.

Make sure to check the stitching when buying Frye bootsMake sure to check the stitching when buying Frye boots

Uneven stitching is a clear indicator of fake bootsUneven stitching is a clear indicator of fake boots

Watch out for loose and uneven stitching, which is a clear indicator of replicated goods.

5. Check the hardware

Genuine Frye boots have antiqued metal hardware. The hardware should look slightly bronzed or silver and should feel heavy.

Frye's hardware should feel relatively heavyFrye’s hardware should feel relatively heavy

Frye boots feature antiqued metal hardwareFrye boots feature antiqued metal hardware

Counterfeiters often use a cheaper version of the metal or even hard plastic that feels slightly lighter.

6. Check the outsoles

The outsoles display the brand name FRYE in bold capital letters. Other models, — usually the more rugged styles — have a Neoprene Safetech Oil Resistant stamp on the outsole to identify the rubber technology used.

Some boots have the Neoprene Safetech Oil Resistant stampSome boots have the Neoprene Safetech Oil Resistant stamp

The outsoles display the brand name FRYE in bold capital lettersThe outsoles display the brand name FRYE in bold capital letters

Fake Frye boots might miss the mark on the brand stamp, or will completely forego this important detail.

7. Check other details and fit.

The Frye Company prides itself on creating well-constructed boots made from the finest leathers and materials. These boots go through several quality control checks to make sure even the smallest details are fine-tuned.

Another important factor is the fit, which can make or break any boot. Genuine Frye boots should feel good on your feet, even right out the box. These quality pieces are made to be sturdy but comfortable.

Cheap replicas might be able to copy the exterior look of a Frye, but will often feel rigid and tough, even after a break-in period.

Where are Frye boots made?

With the exception of a few select few models, most Frye boots are now made in China.

Who owns the Frye Company?

While the shoe brand claims to the oldest continuously operated American shoe company, it is now actually a Chinese company. Frye is owned by Global Brands Group Holding Limited, a fashion conglomerate based in Hong Kong.

Other footwear brands in the same group include Aquatalia, Calvin Klein, Katy Perry, Allsaints, Taryn Rose, Fiorelli, Jones New York, Goats, Dirk Bikkembergs, Karen Millen, and Reiss.

Do Frye boots have a lifetime warranty?

No, they do not. The company warrants any genuine Frye footwear, handbag, and small leather good product against manufacturer’s defect for up to one year after purchase from any authorized Frye retailer.

Does Frye have a clearance section?

You can buy Frye boots on sale and clearance at Nordstrom Rack and Amazon.

How to care for Frye boots

All leather goods including footwear, handbags, and apparel should be cleaned and moisturized on a regular basis. Please note that Frye boots and bags are not waterproof.

We recommend that you treat your leather bags and shoes with Frye’s premium silicone-free waterproof balm that will condition, moisturize and nourish them. You can find the balm and other care products at The Frye Company.

The unique formula creates an invisible, stain-proof shield against rain, snow, and dirt. It also prevents the leathers from drying, cracking and exposure to salt damage.

Frye Leather Conditioning Cream, $10 – $15 at Amazon and Zappos

Condition and protect your favorite pair of Frye boots from the rain with the Frye Leather Conditioning Cream

Credit: David Livingston / WENN

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